>> now! >> they are running towards base... >>...explosions going off we're not quite sure... >> fault lines al jazeera america's award winning, investigative series... on al jazeera america this is al jazeera america, live from new york city. i'm randall pinkston in for tony harris. charged with desertion, the army sergeant kidnapped by the taliban formally accused of abandoning his post in afghanistan. crisis in yemen. reports the president has fled his country as rebel forces seize an air base used by the pentagon. and crash in the alps the difficult task of determining why the plane went down. three americans among the victims. ♪
nearly ten months ago the u.s. military and president obama celebrating the homecoming of bowe bergdahl his freedom secured in a prisoner swap after five years as a hostage of the taliban in afghanistan. but today military officials formally accuse bergdahl of desertion. jamie? >> reporter: the bergdahl said has been controversial from the start when he allegedly walked away from his post in afghanistan. he put his fellow solders at risk, and then the white house ended up making this highly criticized prisoner swap sending five taliban captives to live comfortable lives in qatar. after a lengthy investigation any army is charging sergeant bo bergdahl of violation of
military law. >> the u.s. army forces command has thoroughly reviewed the army's investigation during the 2009 disappearance in afghanistan, and formally charged sergeant bergdahl under the armed forces uniform code of military justice. >> reporter: there are two counts article 85 of the uniform code of military justice, desertion with intention to sherk duty. the second count, article 99: with the same penalty except for a maximum of life in prison instead of five years. bergdahl was a private first class when he left his post on june 30th, 2009.
he was captured by the taliban and held under brutal conditions for five years. president obama citing the army ethos of never leaving a soldier behind announced last may that bergdahl's freedom has been secured in a deal brokered by qatar. >> this morning i called bob and janne, and told them that after nearly five years in captivity, their son bo is coming home. >> reporter: byrd dahl was considered a prisoner of war which the president cited of sending five taliban prisoners in return for bergdahl's release. the next step is hearing which will determine if there's enough evidence and it's strong enough to proceed to trial, which would be a full court-martial. and unlike the civilian grand jury system bergdahl would be able to testify in open court if he desires during this
proceeding. in court papers he indicated during his five years in captivity he was held in nearly total isolation, beaten chained, threatened with execution and maiming, and some in the military believe that was probably punishment enough for any crimes he committed. >> thank you. we go now to retired air force colonel joining us in washington. how serious is this charge desertion given the fact that there are different levels of desertion charges? >> it's probably the most serious charge that you can expect somebody to receive in today's military environment so to put it bluntly, he is in some serious trouble at this point. >> what are the implications here, do you expect bergdahl to end up serving jail time.
>> there are going to be some instances where they may look at this as a time served kind of situation because of the number of years he spent in captivity. however, i do think it is at least a possibility he may serve a couple of years in jail just because of the seriousness of the charges. >> based on your experience how often does the military accuse someone of desertion? >> it is very rare. now there are a lot of cases historically there have been a lot of cases -- you are looking at the tens of thousands in world war ii and in world war i, there were a few thousand cases as well. in the civil war there, several tens of thousands, but in modern day military efforts there is very littledyer is shun in terms of desertion charges that are actually levied. most of the time people will levy charges such as awol or
absence without leave, and that is a much more common charge. >> when bergdahl was released there was criticism of the obama administration. did the president really have a choice? making that swap if he knew he could get one of america's soldiers back even though he apparently deserted? >> well, randall that's a very difficult question to answer because we don't know the exact background of the negotiations and what was given and taken in those negotiations, but generally speaking i would say that to exchange five high-level taliban members for one sergeant, in this case when he was captured a private, and one who was captured under some tenuous circumstances, it's probably too high a price to pay. just because the equation just doesn't balance out in terms of the -- you know once side
versus the other. so i would say it was a very high price to pay, and ifully a strategic standpoint, it also puts us in some degree of danger, because we have many other things that could go on in terms of being call-- cap toured by the endmy, so it becomes difficult for us to continue with a policy when there is really no set policy. that's the problem. there's no set policy and it becomes dangerous to go from one step to the other in this case. >> i want you to stick us with for a minute because the pentagon is saying the u.s. has launched air strikes against isil in tikrit iraq. military officials say the iraqi government requested help. the u.s.-led coalition has also been flying surveillance missions over the city to provide intelligence. what do you make of this stepped up u.s. involvement?
>> randall i think what we're seeing here is the fact that the iraqi offensive to retake tikrit has stalled. and the iraqis were trying to get the iranians to help them and the iranians responded. but the iranians don't have the logistical tail to actually go forward and take advantage of the situation on the ground, so what you are seeing here is a situation where the iranians have in essen run out of steam, the iraqis have temporarily run out of steam, and so they need the u.s. to help them with this. and that is exactly what is happening. the u.s. is coming in with intelligence assets and now apparently they have started striking targets in and around tikrit, and that shows a new phase in this offensive. >> thank you for your incite. now to yemen where shia houthi rebels appear to be closing in on the president's base in the southern city of
aden. there are reports of gunfire on the outskirts of the city and the airport is closed because of security concerns. there are reports that the president has fled the country. yemen's foreign minister is calling on arab countries to help fight the rebels. the saudi foreign minister says countries in the region will do what is necessary to protect stability. mike viqueira what is the white house saying? >> reporter: they insist they president hadi is still the rightful leader of yemen. but no one really knows who is leading the country, who is in charge there, but in spite of it all, the u.s. is insisting that its policy towards yemen has worked. last september president obama cited yemen as a model in taking our terror. >> this is one that we have successfully pursued in yemen and somali for years.
>> reporter: five months later u.s. forces evacuated, its embassy empty for a month. a spokesman is denying reports that president hadi fled from aden. the u.s. is still calling u.s. pollty towards yemen a success. >> we still have a number of successes to point to in terms of pushing back on al-qaeda and our successes in doing that in coordination with authorities. we're continuing to push back on counter terrorism threats that we face. >> reporter: u.s. officials have called that group as the one most intent and most capable of attacking americans worldwide. for years it has been the target of u.s. drone strikes that killed among others the american-born cleric accused of plotting against the united states. but it is the shia lead houthis who have lead the insurrection
against the yemeni government and while the current chaos makes it harder to execute, it's policy is still working. >> what the united states will do and has done is worked to try to support the central government, build up the capacity of local fighters and use our own technological and military capabilities to apply pressures on the extremists there. >> reporter: but if yemen continues his slide, it could provide an opening. >> al-qaeda in the arab pence la will explore the current instability to cause further chaos. >> reporter: and yemen's powerful neighbor to the north, saudi arabia may be considering military action. >> we hope that this can be done peacefully. if it is not done peacefully
the countries of the region will take the necessary measures to protect the region from aggression. >> reporter: the white house insists despite the case -- chaos, it can still strike within yemeni's borders. >> we have the ability to apply pressure on the extremists in yemen. >> reporter: and state department officials say that their officials here in the administration did speak with president hadi today. they will not reveal where he is or how he left the capitol, they cite security concerns. and many officials say no he did not flee by boat did president hadi and they are asking the united states to do more to turn back the houthis. iran and five world powers have now just six days to reach
a framework deal to curb iran's nuclear program. secretary of state john kerry is returning to switzerland for the final days of talks. james bayes has a preview. >> reporter: the place where both iranian and u.s. diplomats hope there will be a break through in their long-running nuclear negotiation. seven different delegations will again be gathering. john kerry put aside all other business and spent all of last week here with his iranian opposite number secretary kerry knows critics in the u.s. congress are circling and that his window of opportunity to get a deal may be closing. mr. zarif also has critical voices at home hard liners who oppose any deal. analysts say the stakes are high. >> the domestic political pressure that both sides have been feeling has not reseeded in
any way shape or form and as they continue to reach closer and closer to that march 31st deadline, the pressure has only increased. so i think you're going to see a sense of urgency that we haven't seen before and greater flks flexibility that we haven't seen before. because the craziest things happen as you approach the 90th minute. >> reporter: the talks have made some progress. one of the main sticking points is sanctions. iran wants them all lifted as soon as possible. but the current array, of e.u. u.s. sanction took many years to put in place. the u.s. is pressing for what they are snap-back sanctions. among the international delegations negotiating with iran, france is known to be the
most hawkish, almost certainly because of israeli's newly elected prime minister benjamin netenyahu sent a delegation to paris this past week. and is strongly opposed to a negotiation. and that view is also shared by republicans in congress, the arab gulf nations and hard liners in tehran. before he left washington, d.c. john kerry in his speech addressed those opponents of the talks. >> anybody standing up in opposition to this has an obligation to stand up and put a viable realistic alternative on the table, and i have yet to see anybody do that. >> reporter: when secretary kerry and foreign minister zarif meet again, they will be well aware that there is a coalition that want to destroy the agreement they are working to
hard to reach. french investigators say they are recovered audio from the cockpit voice recorder of the germanwings plane that crashed in the french alps. the state department said today, three americans were among the 150 people killed in yesterday's crash. the majority on board were french german and french. >> reporter: brought together by tragedy, the leaders of france germany, and spain arrive at this small town in the alps. they have come to pay their respects to the victims of the plane crash and to get the latest on the investigation. their presence here underlines the international dimension of this disaster. >> translator: we need to understand what happened. we must do so. we owe this to the families of the victims and the countries involved in this drama. >> reporter: all day long helicopters have been ferrying
search search teams to and from the mountainside. the wreckage is scattered over an area the equivalent of eighty football fields. sharded of twisted metal, nothing that can be recognized as a plane. it may take weeks for investigators to examine of the whole of the crash site. it is still unclear what caused the flight to plunge from the sky, but this shattered black box may hold some clues. it is the voice recorder from the plane's cockpit. >> translator: there has been some difficulty reading the data, but it is great that we have found this. we have been able to exact some information from it, but it's a little bit early to say what happened. >> reporter: 150 people were on board the aircraft at the time of the crash. no one survived. retrieving and identifying the bodies is a grim and
pain-staking task. >> translator: the identification of the victims is essential, and we have to start with that because we owe that to the families of the victims, but it won't be done in five minutes. it will take weeks, and i believe that everyone should be aware that this will take a long time. >> reporter: darkness has descended on day two of this operation. but we're still no closer to answering the crucial question why a well maintained plane with an experienced pilot flying in good weather crashed into these mountains, killing all on board. justin green is an aviation attorney. he has represented many families from many crashes. we know that the cockpit voice recorder has been found. they are saying that there is usable data but how long will it take really to figure out
what the data is and what is it going to tell us? >> the data is really a recording. the investigators probably already know what the data says and now they are probably analyzing what it is. >> would it be voice, sounds? >> it will be voice and sounds. you can listen to what the pilots are talking about, and it's actually one of the saddest things to do as you listen to pilots discuss an emergency knowing it is going to end in tragedy. >> how long would it take for them to analyze this before they will say anything publicly about it? >> i think the question is what is on the tapes, and then the next question is they may want to get -- they may want to get the flight data recorder tapes. that's going to tell you exactly what the airplane did.
>> what the flaps were what the speed was -- >> exactly. so you put those two together you want to know what the pilot inputs were and what the pilots were talk about. >> so one of the big questions is what happened in that eight minutes from the point it was at 38,000 feet to the point of impact. nothing as far as we know back to ground control. >> a lot of airplane crashes come up with a, woeing theory pretty quickly. if it's weather or landing emergency, but this is a long time to be in a relatively steady rate of decent a little bit more than a normal rate but not an airplane out of control. and pilots we're taught tooff avie
at it navigate communication. >> could it suggest a loss of consciousness? >> that could be. and if it doesn't have come communication that would tell you the pilots were overcome. >> there was an warning placed on airbus planes on a nose-down pitch. >> that's right. what happens is airplane is a fly by wire airplane. what that really means is the pilots put inputs but the computer actually takes those inputs and sends out messages to the different control surfaces. and in this case what happened on takeoff, climbout the angle of attack probes which are basically devices that tell the airplane what the angle of attack, pitch attitude is froze on -- on approach -- i'm sorry -- on -- on the takeoff and climbout. so when they got to altitude, the airplane thinks the angle of
attack is different than it actually is and puts the airplane in pitch down put it into a dive. so what the european agency came out with was a fix, which was a procedure for the pilots to fix that. so these pilots should have known how to fix this problem if this problem was the initiating cause. >> and i suspect it will be a point of litigation if it ever comes to that. >> it will be. >> thank you. tonight new tensions in missouri about the treatment of police officers black officers. [ shouting ] >> we'll hear from the city's interim police chief next. plus the final assessment of security steps taken after 9/11, where improvements still need to be made. and we're monitoring severe weather in oklahoma where there are reports of tornados, the
this evening we're hearing for the first time from the interim police chief in ferguson missouri. he is condemning video of a ferguson police officer being harassed. duarte geraldino sat down with the interim chief today and join us now. tell us more about this video, and why it's so controversial. >> reporter: for months people have been saying the solution to what is happening here in ferguson is for more black officers to get on that force. so what this video does is it literally shows you what officers face in ferguson. in the video, we have one officer who is responding to protests and once he gets there, he is being taunted.
[ shouting ] [ censor bleep ] >> this video was shot by a protester over the weekend, and it has been circulating over the internet. in it you see one of very few black officers in ferguson -- right now there are only five. he got to the scene. he was called there before other officers arrived. when the protesters saw him, apparently some recognized him and started yelling why are you on that side of the fence. it really highlights to the chief the problem that he has in getting more officers to join the force and in particular african american officers. he says his officers are treated particularly bad in ferguson because they are black, and some people believe they are on the wrong side of the divide randall. >> what else does the chief say are his biggest fears right now? >> right now the ferguson police department is not just trying to
reform, but it is fighting for its very survival randall. and so it has to keep its numbers up. so the chief is concerned that he may lose officers whether by resignation or by injury. >> well when you leave at night, you worry about the officers, your sergeants, your lieutenants, a lot of these disturbances happen at nighttime because that's when it is the darkest and they can do their stuff in the background. big example is the shooting. shots fired late at night from a distance. unfortunately they were two municipal officers that came to help me it could have just as easily been my officers. >> reporter: there are vacancies in the department and he is concerned that some people may be dissuaded from joining the force because of all of the pressure attached with being a police officer in that department. and later we'll take you into
the heart and mind of the man who is leading the most controversial police department in america. >> thank you. another delay in the retrial for two of our al jazeera colleagues. a judge today again adjourned the proceedings against mohammed fahmy, and baher mohamed. the journalling -- judge ordered another technical review of the evidence. they were freed on bail after more than a year in prison. al jazeera rejects the charges against the journalist. coming up a public apology from one of the students in that racist video. >> i will be deeply sorry and deeply ashamed of what i have done for the rest of my life. plus the mega food merger between two of america's best-known brands. ♪
well there's praise and criticism for the fbi. a new analysis fines the agency has come a long way since september 11th and prevented attacks on u.s. soil. but it also finds that the fbi needs to do more. >> reporter: randall this report is nothing like that scathing report back in 2004. that report called for sweeping transformational change at the fbi. this new review says there has been a lot of progress, but there is still a very long way to go. it's been nearly 14 years since september 11th and nothing like it has happened again. >> thank you, chairman. >> reporter: but according to a new report while the fbi is better than it was on september 10th, 2001 it is still not good enough. it still doesn't even have enough translators or gather enough information.
one of the report's key findings is when it comes to the basic job of getting information from people from analyzing it, the fbi, quote: in other words fighting new and social media savvy groups like isil. even the fbi's director admits his agency could do better. >> this has been a tremendously valuable thing to me as a new director. i have tlaed report carefully. there's so much in it i need read it many more times to fully digest it. but overwhelmingly i agree with their findings and recommendations. >> reporter: congress ordered the review last year to look at how well the fbi has carried out the commission's recommendations from as far back as 2004.
the report credits the fbi with improving information sharing which has undoubtedly prevented another catastrophic terrorist attack. however, the coauthor of the report says a review of five recent threats and attacks, including the boston marathon bombing and the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi libya, show the fbi needs to be better at digging up tips and integrating intelligence. in addition to new organized groups like isil the report underscores dangers associated with the players. these foreign fighters including growing numbers of u.s. citizens, it says are a clear and present security threat to the united states. the report does say that the intelligence community has become much more effective since 9/11, but that was then and the
report warned that now, today's world is more dangerous in many ways and that the fbi needs to pick up the pace because, quote, everything is moving faster. many of the report's criticisms do have to do with speed how the fbi can do things faster. linguists for example. the report says while there are enough in large fbi offices, there are not enough its more remote offices, and the lag time in those places more remotely is too long. randall? >> thanks paul beban. the supreme court is giving a once pregnant woman another chance to prove ups discriminated against her. the former worker sued the company for refusing to give her light duty while she was pregnant. lower courts have previously blocked the suit. there was a public apology today from one of the university of oklahoma students seen on
video taking part in a racist chant. levy pettitte has been expelled from the school and today he said he is sorry. heidi zhou castro is here with more. >> the video was posted earlier this month, and almost immediately it went viral. you see members of the fraternity from the university of oklahoma on a bus, and they are participating in this very racist chant that has been very disturbing. you see 20 year levi pettitte. he is one of two leaders you see there pumping their fists, urging their fellow brothers in the fraternity to do this chant with them and they use racial slurs multiple times targeting african americans and they reference reference lynching. pettitte was expelled because of the video, and today he offered an apology after meeting with black leaders. let's listen.
>> i'm sorry for all of the pain that i caused. although i don't deserve it i want to ask for your forgiveness. there are no excuses for my behavior. i never thought of myself as a racist. i never considered at it possibility. but the bottom line is that the worlds said in that chant, were mean, hateful and racist. >> the fraternity is no longer part of the university of oklahoma. the president of the university immediately severed ties after being made aware of the video. and leading up to today there has been a lot of student protests, and ample discussion on campus about the racial culture there, and the message from the administration has been clear, this was shameful they say. this was not tolerated, and it is not representative of the student culture there. >> thank you, heidi zhou castro. ♪ there's a big, a really big
merger in the business world today. a union between kraft and heintz. ali velshi is here with more. ali. >> all right. let's have some catch up with that vel vitae cheese. warren buffet is teaming up with an brazilian investment team. they teamed up in 2013 to buy heinz, now they are pumping about $10 billion into kraft. this new company is going to be a public company. heinz is private, kraft is publishing. if you have a kraft shareholder, you are going to get $16.50 a share. the new company is going to be called kraft heinz. it will have revenue of about $28 billion. making it the third largest in north america, and the fifth large est in the world. the deal is going to combine all of the products that you know
from these two companies. all of the same stuff is going to be available, so if you are a food -- packaged food junky like me, all is safe randall. >> ali what is driving this deal? >> kraft has seen its sales and growth slow down a bit in recent years. it's about making kraft a stronger company. there has been a shift to healthier products. kraft was born out of a huge corporate split in 2012. kraft was sort of a smaller business as a result of that. mo ndolae was the bigger business. it was a cigarette business. so kraft has needed an impetus to grow further. so you'll see a lot of these kraft goods being distributed together with heinz goods, and it is going to create a broader international company. >> what is on your show tonight.
>> we have the first interview with ferguson's acting new police chief. all of this of course comes in the wake of the death of michael brown and the justice department's devastating report about racism on that police force. we have a longer version of what you were just talking to duarte about. >> thanks a lot. you can watch "real money with ali velshi" every weeknight. afghanistan's president is pledging a new relationship with the u.s. ashraf ghani addressed congress this morning, one day after the white house agreed to slow the withdraw of u.s. troops from afghanistan. he said military support from the u.s. is needed to help stop the rise of isil a group he calls daesh. >> it's critical the world understands the threat that daesh poses to the states of
western and strencentral asia. we're the front line. [ applause ] >> he said his country owes a profound debt to the 2300 u.s. troops killed in afghanistan. dozens of people in colorado are facing charges this evening that they illegally grew and sold marijuana. grand jury indicted 32 people that allegedly grew hundreds of pounds of marijuana in denver and exported it to other states. that is not allowed under the state's rules. according to the indictment the group made more than $12 million. sieve veer weather is impacting millions of americans this evening. there are reports of tornados in oklahoma and arkansas. meteorologist kevin corriveau joining us with more. >> we are looking at some
unconfirmed reports right now, and it's mostly in arkansas that we're talking about. but parts of oklahoma we're watching very strong thunderstorms. look at the radar for the last 12 hours to now and notice how they really pond up. this is normal for severe weather season. we see these popping up late afternoon and into the evening. we're going to go closer in and show you what has been happening right here. you can see how these have become very organized. and then this line right here coming through parts of tulsa as well as just to the west of oklahoma city. what we are looking at is a severe thunderstorm watch box extending through actually four states, a little bit of kansas and parts of arkansas missouri and into most of oklahoma. this is what we are seeing right now. now we're watching the tornado warnings very carefully. here in tulsa, we have dropped the tornado warnings just to the west of the city but we still
have the warnings east of the city. we are also looking at northern parts of arkansas and now we have new tornado warnings issued in parts of missouri. but severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect to the west of oklahoma city. i will not be surprised if those do turn into tornado warnings in the next half hour or hour. we'll see very active weather up here through parts of illinois. st. louis later on tonight you could be in that area with large hail that has been reported from a quarter size to ping-pong size in parts of oklahoma as well as into parts of arkansas as well. these are the tornado-damage reports that have been reported so far. three tornados, unconfirmed right here in the northwestern parts of arkansas. we will be watching this all through the rest of the night. >> thank you, kevin.
>> the saudi arabiian foreign minister is announcing an step up in action in yemen. let's listen in to a news conference in progress right now. >> -- flamed in a security council resolution. the united states security council has condemned these actions, and asked that they abide by this process, so their choice is very simple. they abide by this process and become legitimate players in yemeni politics but they certainly will not be allowed to take over the country. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]? >> we will do whatever it takes in order to protect the legitimate government of yemen from falling and facing any dangers from an outside militia. we have a situation where you have a militia group that is now in control -- or can be in control of ballistic missiles, of heavy weapons and of an air force. i do not recall in my reading of
history of any militia that had an air force or control of an air force. so this is a very dangerous situation and we must do everything we can to protect the people of yemen and protect the legitimate government of yemen. sorry, let me take. >> reporter: thank you. could you tell us specifically which countries are in the coalition outside of the gcc, specifically [ inaudible ]? and air strike limited to [ inaudible ] or [ inaudible ]? >> i will wait until the -- our partners in the coalition have an opportunity to make the case themselves. what i can tell you is that we have air assets from a number of countries in the kingdom, and military assets on their way to the kingdom to participate. with regards to the geographic distribution, they are not limited to one particular city
or one particular region. okay. maybe one or two questions? yes? >> reporter: has saudi made moves to protect [ inaudible ] or to get him out of the country? >> this whole operation is designed to protect the legitimate government of yemen, of which president hadi is the president. we -- we are committed to ensuring the safety and the security of yemen and its people. yemen is a neighboring country. it's a fraternal country. we have great historic ties with yemen on all levels. what happens in yemen has a direct impact on the kingdom of saudi arabia. yemen as you know faces many challenges and it is our desire and determination to support yemen in facing all of -- all of its challenges. whether those pertain to economic development, whether they pertain to terrorism, whether they pertain to
security, political stability, we are committed as we have said over the years to helping yemen move towards a better future and so these operations are designed to do that. we as you know yemen is a country that is very rugged. it is the headquarters of the al-qaeda of the arabian peninsula. a number of plots that have been destructive have emanated out of yemen that have been a threat to world peace. it also has two very long coastlines, so it is very open to the world. so having yemen fail cannot be an option for us or for our coalition partners so we are determined to protect the legitimate government of yemen, and we are determined to do our best in order to work towards the safety and security of the people -- >> that's the foreign minister announcing a major military push to protect the government of yemen, saying it is the first
time he knows of militias having access to ballistic missiles heavy weapons and an air force. the houthi shia rebels who have pushed out the president in yemen, now they are coming to the aid of yemen, and also saying there is a coalition involved in that effort. that will be announced later. coming up a march ending on the steps of the capitol. plus i -- >> i'm a wallace, but i am different. >> the daughter of former alabama governor george wallace on what she is doing differently this time around.
his daughter stood in for her father reading his words. >> i come to say to you this afternoon, how ever difficult the task how frustrating the hour, it will not be long. >> how long not long? because no lie can live forever. how long? not long because you shall reap what you sew. how long? not long truth forever on the skap l, wrong forever on the thrown, yet that skapel sways the future and behind the dim unknown, stand the god within the shadow keeping watch behind his own, how long? not long. >> also speaking today the daughter of alabama governor george wallace. it was wallace who ordered the
attack on the marchers. >> my father never built a bomb or hit anybody with a billy club, but he created a climate that allowed other people to go and do those things. >> peggy wallace kennedy is the daughter of george wallace. >> that's my father. >> reporter: the alabama governor who built his reputation fighting against civil rights. >> and i say segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: so when you listen to your father say segregation now, and all of that and -- >> that's probably the most racist thing i have ever heard him say. >> reporter: that wasn't the only time her father's words and actions betrayed racial bias. he stood in the doorway of the
university of alabama to deny entry of two african american students. >> i actually answered the phone -- and i'm all of four years old and people were making death threats, making -- you know calling, you know names on that day. >> reporter: governor wallace also ordered state troopers to block non-violent marchers on the edmund pettis bridge. including a future congressman named john lewis. >> at 15 you just can't believe what you are seeing on tv. it was so horrific. >> reporter: did you ask your dad about it? >> no. >> reporter: in fact peggy wallace kennedy said she never spoke to her father about his views on race even those his hard core conservative speeches made him one of the best-known politicians in america, but
wallace changed. the turning point? his 1972 campaign for president when a gunman tried to kill him. [ gunfire ] [ screaming ] >> he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. >> i think that he had had time to reflect on his politics of the past and see what pain and suffering he had caused others because he was in such pain and suffering. >> reporter: in his fourth and final term as governor wallace began apologizing for his views on race. he invited past opponents to his home and office including john lewis, one of the victims of police violence on the edmund pettis bridge. >> i had an opportunity to ask governor wallace, i said governor why did you give the order for people to beat us? he said we had to stop you.
on the bridge because there were people waiting to kill you on the other side. i said governor do you kill people to keep other people from killing them? he didn't have an answer. i'm not really convinced that governor wallace ever really believed all of the stuff that he was saying. i think he used the issue of race to get ahead. >> reporter: wallace also met with the two students he had once blocked from entering the university of alabama, james hood and vivian malone. >> did your sister ever share with you being frightened? >> you know what this is something that continues to amaze me because of all of the emotions she had, i think fear was not one. i think that she never gave into that fear. she and my parents were people of great faith. and they felt that they were doing the right thing, and that -- you know, all would be taken care of.
>> reporter: wallace died in 1988. it took another ten years before his daughter decided it was time for her to move beyond her father's apologies towards her own reconciliation. first she endorsed a young illinois senator for president. >> barack obama said america could be better. he inspired me and gave me the courage to step out from beneath the shadow of the schoolhouse door. that was my legacy. >> reporter: soon daughter of a segregationist governor found herself walking hand in hand across the edmund pet us the bridge with john lewis. >> this young lady she was so courageous and brave and warm to greet me and it was very moving. >> one of the greatest honors of my life, and that's how i met him. and he is the epitome of when he
says that love and reconciliation can heal a heart. >> reporter: all over alabama there are plaques, memorials and statutes symbolizing the state's troubled racial past. of course no one can change history. george wallace's deeds will always be part of his legacy, but his daughter hopes she can create a new legacy in the family's name. towards that effort a remarkable moment. families who once stood against each other, finally met face-to-face. peggy wallace kennedy, and sharon malone holder who's husband happens to be the u.s. attorney general. >> it was pretty amazing to see thatter a k, and how people are able to come just in one generation. >> reporter: 50 years ago, martin luther king, jr., and the selma marchers reached their designation.
intent of giving governor wallace a petition for voting rights. 50 years ago when the marchers came where was your father? >> up here in his second floor office. >> reporter: he did not meet the marchers. >> he did not >> reporter: you want to meet them when they come back? >> yes, i do. >> reporter: why is it important for you to be the welcoming party? >> because i am a wallace. i am a wallace, but i'm different. >> reporter: from your dad. >> from my dad. and a footnote the last time he ran for governor he received more than 90% of the african american vote. for a look at what is coming up at the top of the hour here is david shuster. >> military operations inside yemen have begun, we'll examine america's future role in that country, and the concerns neighboring countries have in the region. plus we will show you the
>> hello everybody, this is al jazeera america. i'm david schuster in new york. we begin with breaking news out of yemen where the american-backed government has collapsed and the country has now fallen into chaos. just a short time ago, saudi arabia says it has launched a military operation inside yemen a close saudi ally to help houthi rebels. there is c